Birding Aid

Photo courtesy of P. Allman

“What is that thing?” I said.

“It’s a flamingo,” my husband said.

“I mean, what is it…?”

“I don’t know what you’d call it,” he said. “A floating… thing.”

“Why is it here? It’s garish. What will the neighbors say? Plus, there aren’t any flamingos within a thousand miles of Massachusetts.”

“The guy who sold it to me said it attracts birds. We need something like that around here besides our feeders. He said the bird count in Massachusetts has dropped twenty percent since the ’70s. I think I’ve noticed that.”

“He made it up,” I said, “to sell you that thing. How much did it cost?”

Hubby didn’t answer. We were standing on our deck. The flamingo bobbed its head as a solitary ripple reached the shore, caused by an errant tern diving into the pond.

Hubby paddled out in the silly thing. It moved slowly. He kept it near to shore as if to show it off to birds in the woods near the water, as well as to the season’s waterfowl.

In the next week, we spotted common gallinules, an American coot, and an Eastern wood-peewee, all rare in these parts.

for Sunday Photo Fiction

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